highwire

motherhood is a tightrope of immediacy and inevitability, perilously strung above understanding, with me inching along breathing into wobbly steps.

I thought we'd get away, chase down art and beauty in a museum or find a booth and delicious treats to tuck into. maybe you wouldn't see vile hate cutting at the net beneath us. we awoke, and you knew better, so we stayed in bed holding hands, whispering secrets, stitching wings of love to catch our hearts and keep us weightless in the coming days.

the immediate: beyond this home, one mile past our love and joy and split wide open searching hearts, is the raucous, maniacal, wicked wicked wicked hatred of men who grow more obsolete and minuscule with each passing day. their rage is stoked and their passions lit and while we hunkered into one another, they exploded outward sending sonic gusts which whip my tightrope and left me turned upside down, clinging with bleeding fingers to the sharp wire. I spent the day hanging there, stunned, silent, summoning the strength to pull myself up to begin to walk again. I often wonder how ancestors stayed living, chiding myself for wanting to protect my child above all else, believing I ought to be 'out there.'

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today, I called upon centuries of mothers, knowing the thin wire separating me from falling is one walked by millions of brown women across time, each with some terror biting at their toes. each cautiously continuing to step ever forward. each loving their babies in the face of utter madness. in the face of constant, aching, outlandish uncertainty and threats and vitriol and heartache. and they made art, built families, took risks, ushered in eras of beauty, cultivated peace, shook the world with their spirits, invented and just woke up each day. yes, this high wire has me terrified, but tomorrow, as generations of good folk have done, I shall wake to walk the wire again, breathing shakily, but breathing nonetheless and being seen doing so. when you inevitably ask what I did to fight hate, I'll say I loved you into existence and listened for the sunrise calling me on behalf of those who cannot because that is the work of my motherhood.